Steve Harper Has 19 Clean Sheets This Season

The Newcastle goalkeeper, Steve Harper, who turns 35 years old on March 14th, has started every single league game since Shay Given left the club for Manchester City in in January of last year.

Harper – 160 appearances for Newcastle – 19 clean sheets this season

That’s 50 continuous league games for the Easington born goalkeeper, and Steve now has 160 Newcastle appearances in his long career.

He also has 42 other first class appearances while he was on loan at Huddersfield, Hartlepool and Bradford City from 1995-1998.

When told about his record today Steve said:

“I feel very good,” “It’s a long time now since I had that double hernia operation and I don’t think I’ve missed any league games since then.”

“I work well with the goalkeeping coach, Paul Barron, in training and he knows how to manage his goalkeepers and has  a lot of experience.”

“I’m loving it at the moment and long may it continue.”  “It’s been a tough season but, for me, it’s been great; I’ve been playing games and the team have been winning and keeping clean sheets.”

“It’s been a real team effort, though, and those clean sheets are down to everybody.”   “We score as a team and defend as a team – you see Big Andy Carroll back in his own box defending and that’s what we do.”

“That’s why we’ve got as many clean sheets and I’m delighted with our record.”

An even more important statistic for Newcastle and Harper this season, is that Steve already has 19 clean sheets.

Harper was robbed of his 20th clean sheet of the season last Saturday when Watford scored their first goal in injury time.

That tells you how well Newcastle’s defense has played this season, and hopefully it will auger well for Newcastle if they do indeed get promoted this season, and are back in the Premier League for next season.

Comments welcome.

9 comments so far

  • boater

    Mar 4, 2010 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #1

    Best defense in the football league aint it? I was never a fan of Given, somehow his reputation just continued to spiral upwards whatever happened on the pitch. If the team won – it was ‘Given kept us in it singlehandedly’ ,, if we lost it was always,,, ‘goodness knows how many it would have been without Given’,,, for years… well they are saying the same thing at City now.. he doesn’t communicate with his defense – see the Brazil match.

    Harper has always been a better keeper in my eyes – so I’m well happy he has the baton now. Even if we have to endure the never ending drone of Given hero-worshipping on here… never liked him, massively, massively overrated footballer.

  • steved66

    Mar 4, 2010 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #2

    Here here Stevie Harper, possibly the best en glish keeper in the country, if only we were in the PL I am convinced he would be going to the World Cup with England. Agree with Boater regarding Given. Steve is without doubt a big factor in our improved defence this year and ther boys in front of him look confident in his ability to deal with the things they miss.

  • G

    Mar 4, 2010 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #3

    Bit harsh on Given like boys, I really do think ability wise there is very little between Given and Harper, but if anything I would sugges that Harper is more vocal, but Given has the better distribution. Tough one to test, perhaps we could give his team a football match next season and find out?

  • Uchiha_Itachi

    Mar 4, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #4

    Ha that is total BS.

    Not taking anything away from Harper, who is an outstanding keeper but can you seriously sit there and slight Given’s contribution to the club over such a long period? If he was still here right now you wouldn’t have the same hollow opinion.

    On the real issue, the defense deserve a lot of credit this season. Looking at Harper particularly the only issue I can agree on is that he perhaps deserved his chance sooner. Were we in the premiership still I think there would be no doubts he’d be on that plane to South Africa.

  • MacToon

    Mar 4, 2010 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #5

    Harper’s had a great season and he’s a great keeper, same for Given. Oh Given’s obviously rubbish that’s why he plays for the richest club in the world!

    I’d pick Harper for England.

  • boater

    Mar 4, 2010 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #6

    MacToon – Given is at a club which shelled out on players on massively over-hyped reputations in wholesale: Lescott, Adebayor, Tevez, Toure, etc. etc.

    A team full of bloated premiership B-listers – all decent but with inflated reputations, and yes he belongs in that category I’m afraid.

    Given produces 2 hollywood saves per game, which ensures a glowing review by the 3 MOTD stooges each review, his flaws are more subtle however so they rarely get picked up on.

    It is hard to judge keepers – but statistically it’s interesting to note that Harper playing for a run of games has nearly always coincided with good runs for the team (the incredible push for a UEFA spot under Roeder for example.)

  • steved66

    Mar 4, 2010 at 5:28 PM

    Comment #7

    uchiha_Itachi I think you agreed on two issues my friend, a chance earlier and South Africa, not wishing to split hairs though. We are all entitled to our opinions. Mine is different to yours.

    G agree with you it will be good to play Shay’s mob next year!!

    Boater I am still with you mate.

  • komfort

    Mar 4, 2010 at 10:26 PM

    Comment #8

    boater , you appear to be a fine judge of a player – constantly claiming shola’s greatness while reducing shay given to a second rater…

    ….your either blind or just blind drunk !

  • komfort

    Mar 4, 2010 at 10:34 PM

    Comment #9

    you should’a gone to spec savers..


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